Gerard Pique's Roy Keane anecdote reveals how Man United spell shaped his Barcelona career

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Pique spent four years at Manchester United.

Gerard Pique has revealed how earning the wrath of Roy Keane gave him an early insight into life at Manchester United.

Pique, who arrived at Old Trafford as a youngster from Barcelona, was preparing for a match in the dressing when his mobile phone began to ring.

Keane, who memorably lost his temper when he was Ipswich boss after a reporter’s phone went off in a press conference, did not take kindly to the interruption and let Pique know his feelings.

And it is a dressing room dressing down the Spaniard, who returned to the Nou Camp in 2008, remembers well.

“One of my very first matches at Old Trafford, we were in the dressing room getting ready, and I was nervous as hell,” he told The Players’ Tribune.

“Imagine it – I’m 18 years old, and I’m sitting in that little dressing room putting on my socks next to Ruud van Nistelrooy, Ryan Giggs and Rio Ferdinand. I wanted to be invisible. I was thinking, ‘Just do your job and go unnoticed’.

“So we’re sitting there waiting for the gaffer (Sir Alex Ferguson) to come in and speak to us, and I’m literally sitting right next to Roy Keane. The dressing room is so small that our legs are almost touching. There’s no space at all.

“It’s dead quiet. All of a sudden, you could hear this little vibration. Very soft. Roy is looking around the room.

“I realise it’s me. It’s my cell phone. I left it on vibrate, and it’s in the pocket of my pants, stuffed in the clothes bag that’s hanging right behind Roy’s head.

“Roy can’t find where the noise is coming from. Now he’s looking around the room like a maniac.

“His eyes are darting everywhere, and he’s trying to figure it out. You know the famous scene with Jack Nicholson in The Shining, when he bursts through the door? That’s what he looked like.

“He screams out to everybody, ‘Whose phone is that?!’. Silence. He asks again. Silence. He asks a third time. ‘Whose. Bloody. F*****g. Phone. Is. That?!’

“Finally, I spoke up, like a little boy. Very softly, I said, ‘I’m so sorry. It’s mine.”

“Roy lost his mind! He went nuts in front of everybody! It was incredible. I almost s**t myself. But it was a good lesson.

“Now, in 2018, everything is different. All these kids are on their iPhones before the matches. But back then, in 2006? It was a different world. You didn’t do that. Especially not at United. Not in Roy’s dressing room. It was one of a thousand mistakes that I made when I was at United.”

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I can play in Barcelona's XI for 'the next two years', says Andres Iniesta amid transfer speculation

David Cooper 22/03/2018
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Blaugrana icon: Andres Iniesta.

Barcelona midfielder Andres Iniesta has said that he could remain at the club for the next two years.

While the Spaniard, currently with the national team over the international break, expects to move on at some point, he insists it would be somewhere that he is not in competition with the La Liga outfit.

“I would not go anywhere to compete against my club, all scenarios that are not competing against Barcelona are possible,” he said in an interview with El Larguero on the radio station Cadena Ser.

“Many things are going around in my head, some more strongly than others.”

The 33-year-old is determined to take his time with his decision though and won’t be rushed into anything.

“There are a few weeks left where the decision to continue or not is there to be made.

“It’s one of the most important decisions of my career and I understand that I am at an age where things change and other doors open that are very exciting in many ways.

“It will not be a matter of love, it will be about me feeling what I think I am able to contribute.

“Fitness permitting, I can see myself in the Barcelona XI for the next two years”

Iniesta realises that he will have to make a timely decision and not leave it for the last minute.

“If I leave, it will be because I can’t give 100 per cent as a player and as a person to my club,” he continued.

“It will be a difficult decision regardless, but I’m very calm about it and I’m enjoying this year very much.”

The midfielder has also suggested that the 2018 World Cup in Russia will probably be his last.

“The World Cup will possibly be my last appearance for the national team,” he noted. “I don’t want to be around, just because of who I was.”

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Man United star Paul Pogba reveals being a fan of Barcelona's Lionel Messi

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Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba has declared himself a fully-paid up member of the Lionel Messi fanclub.

Speaking in an interview with TyC Sports, the Frenchman admitted that the Barcelona superstar’s name is synonymous with football – and that in the diminutive Argentinian’s case, size doesn’t matter.

“The first time I was with him was in the Champions League final [between Juventus and Barcelona in 2015], he was very small,” Pogba said.

“Messi and football are two things that go together. I enjoy watching at him, he does things that nobody does.

“He has a stature that nobody has, something special for him, everything is special. He’s a player who has football inside him, who feels it, it’s incredible.”

pogba messi 1

The 25-year-old also said that Messi is not the only player he has tried to impersonate or take inspiration from.

“When I was little I looked at [Zinedine] Zidane, Ronaldinho, Ronaldo, Messi. I had videos of [Diego] Maradona, Pele, Kaka, of many players,” he explained.

“I wanted to have all the virtues that those players had.

“Now, I look more at players like [Andres] Iniesta, Yaya Toure, also [Kevin] De Bruyne, who is young, [Luka] Modric, who is a very strong midfielder.”

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